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Magnet

Attic Studio?

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Hi folks, I hope to get some feedback on this possibly ill-fated idea: I'd like to build a small ceramic studio in my attic. Anyone have experience trying this? I solely hand-build, so my equipment will be a slab roller, two tables, and two speed racks for storing work (which I'll then take to a proper studio to be bisqued/glazed). 

 

Is this a bad idea, because dust will uncontrollably make its way into the rest of house -- and into any crevice and exposed wood in the attic? To make it feasible, I imagined that I could tack down linoleum over the painted wood floorboards.  Also, I would work "wet only", and look into best practices to reduce dust... I'm just wondering if that would be fighting a loosing battle? 

 

Any help with this would be wholly appreciated. 

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I know a lady who has such a studio. In a very nice house.  If there is a cold air return I would make sure it has a good filter in it so dust doesn't get sucked back into the hvac system and also good furnace filters changed often. 

 

Sounds like a fun idea.   Rakuku

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Thanks for the replies and encouragement -- I'm happily surprised to hear that it's been successfully done without much dust migration. That's great. 

 

Actually, it's a finished third floor -- a "captive" and awkward guest bedroom / tv room -- that has great light. Also, no intake or vents up there, so we just park a portable radiator, which heats it up quickly. 

 

If anyone has tips, I'd love to hear them. Thanks again.

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do you have water on that floor?  the only drawback i see is carrying everything up the stairs and back down again.  but that might be just because i am old and have a bad foot.

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I sure don't see me lugging 25# bags of clay up stairs (oh I'd do it if it

was my only option, but I wouldn't look forward to it) Like oldlady said

"getting old"

 

graybeard

 

If I had to carry clay upstairs I would devise a pulley system or something similar to those stair chair lifts. LOL I have back and neck problems already that I don't want to add to. 

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Thanks so much for your perspectives on potential problems.

 

@Marcia Selsor: Actually, others have said that the dust getting into the rest of the house *would not* be much of a problem, so long as I work damp and keep everything well mopped. I'm dubious about this too, and would like to know if you think that keeping dust out of the rest of the house would be a losing battle --? I need to keep the house in good shape, as we'll be selling it in about 2-3 years. 

 

I plan on laying down a thick sheet of vinyl floor covering, and framing the entrance to that section with a "wall" of 3-mil plastic (at the top of the third-floor stairs), with a slit as a "door" to pass through. I'll strip down in my bedroom, head up to the studio, and change into my work clothes that I'll keep in the clay room. 

 

As I'm only hand building, I won't need much water.  I'll have a slop bucket for trimmings, which I'll deal with weekly. I'll keep other potentially dusty clay bags etc. in a container.  Also, I use slab-mats, so that will cut down on "canvas dust".  I'll use hardibacker board for wedging, and my tables are woodblock top. 

 

I have thought about installing a hoist outside a window to easily allow me to lift clay up there; we'll see how much of a PITA it is to me.  The real tiresome chore will be bringing fragile greenware pieces down two flights of stairs, small loads at a time.  I suppose I could use the hoist to simplify that task as well. 

 

 I'm fortunate that I'm an athletic young 40, and my main health concern (aside from dust) is that I won't be mountain biking as much with this studio in place. (grin; that's ok)

 

Other concerns I haven't thought of? 

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One big question that I home someone can answer:  Can anyone recommend a non-toxic floor covering that I can use over my attic's hardwood floor? I have a new child, so toxic off-gassing is a big concern

 

I was going to use vinyl, but that's toxic; also pvc flooring and SBR rubber floors apparently have plenty of carcinogens too... I'm not looking for anything pretty, just waterproof and resilient... and no harmful chemicals. Possible?

 

I considered installing true linoleum/marmoleum and just upgrading the whole attic, but it's not feasible for many reasons. 

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I have totally mitigated dust migration into the rest of my house by using proper practices dilligently and EVERY time I work, and hanging a thick thermal curtain across and outside of the door to the bedroom-turned-studio. That lets me leave the door open when i want, and has made a big difference.  I am not young, and have spinal, hip & shortened tendon issues and thus can no longer lift/carry, turn, bend, torque very much. Even a few stairs are almost not do-able and the weight and awkwardness of clay bags & greenware has been a PITA to work around.

 

The hoist might be a good solution for the heavy stuff, and perhaps this wonderful product may help you out with certain items--it is a dolly-type cart designed for all terrain and easily goes up & down stairs:  https://upcart.com/

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